Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. EduProtocols are versatile lesson frames that streamline teacher planning and maximize student creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Can educators purposefully rack and stack or sequence EduProtocols to simplify PBL for students?
This post will describe a seven-day EduProtocol sequence that resulted in 10th-grade World History students making public service announcements to salute important women who served in World War II for Women’s History month. These projects will be displayed for our high school’s Open House, which is open to prospective 9th graders and the general public.
Day One: Students were asked to read a Children’s Book that had been created by previous classes, then use the Frayer Model to break down this service member’s contributions.
Day Two: We did a fact-checking Iron Chef that taught students the importance of lateral reading and vetting multiple sources when becoming an academic writer.
Day Three: We looked for more sources in the Digital Library so that students could produce 25 facts from five different sources. This was the most challenging activity of the week.
Day Four: Students did a concept sort, consolidating the number of facts from 25 to ten and organizing them on a scale from Interesting to Boring. I have found this helps them come up with an interesting hook to begin their writing. Without it, too many students resort to the stock “So and So was born on this date and died on this date…” approach to historical writing.
Day Five: Students write a first draft of their PSA script and color-code their facts. This shows them the value of using multiple-sources to develop a well-researched fact pattern. Good academic writers go beyond Google & Wikipedia.
Day Six: Students record a two minute Flip video honoring their woman who served in WWII. They set their slides to change every 15-30 seconds so the viewer can see all of the work they put into the project. Here is a link to the work flow if you want to take a closer look at this student’s project.
Day Seven: A personal reflection on what parts of this project were helpful and which parts were hard to finish. Most students explained that finding academic sources and using the digital library were the most difficult. I need to have my awesome librarian come in and show them her tips and tricks for becoming savvy researchers.
Overall, I was thrilled with the quality of the work put into these PSAs. I look forward to sharing them with the school community and will show one per day to all of my classes for Women’s History month next year. Here’s the archive.
If you are interested in learning more about sequencing EduProtocols in order to create more meaningful projects in your Social Studies classroom, consider picking up our book or attending one of our Summer Academies in July.